September 9, 2017

Until September 17, Fridericianum in Kassel becomes EMST’s contemporary home in Germany, and ANTIDORON, a gift in return – when translated – symbolizing the shared benefits of this collaboration.

As documenta 14 continues its journey in Athens, having the National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST) as one of its main exhibition venues, an important part of the EMST collection travels to Germany, to be part of documenta 14 program in Kassel (10/6-17/9/17). The exhibition ANTIDORON. The EMST Collection will occupy the whole emblematic building of Fridericianum. It comprises 82 artists and 180 works and it is curated by the Director of EMST, Mrs. Katerina Koskina, supported by Stamatis Schizakis and Tina Pandi, Assistant Curators and Iro Nikolakea in the Architectural design. It is presented in the framework of the Museum’s series EMST in the World.
 
The exhibition at the Fridericianum marks the first time that the most part of the EMST collection is presented outside Greece, through a double relocation that renders EMST’s home, one of the main venues of documenta 14 in Athens, and the Fridericianum, traditionally the centerpiece of a documenta, the temporary home of EMST’s collection.
 
EMST began creating its collection in 2000. Its acquisitions now include more than 1,100 works by Greek and international artists from the 1960s onward. The exhibitionANTIDORON. The EMST Collection is an adapted version of the extensive museological study that will be displayed in full at the EMST spaces. Presented in the Fridericianum, the birthplace of documenta and the first public museum in Europe, the exhibition deals with issues of border crossings, diasporas, cultural exchange, existential quests, and mythologies, as well as personal and collective memories. Additionally, the Fridericianum’s brief tenure as Germany’s first parliamentary building makes it the most appropriate venue in which to show the works of several artists, active during the troubled postwar era and the ensuing decades of political upheaval and revolutionary re-imagination of society.

While the presentation of the collection maintains its international scope, it also emphasizes the presence of pioneering Greek artists, highlighting and revisiting their national and international journeys.
 
The title embodies the mutual respect of both institutions, documenta 14 and EMST independently of their diverse commitments and missions, to discourse and to reinterpret essential issues and visual language. It deals with concepts such as trading, exchanging, sharing, giving and offering Antidoron (αντίδωρον, literally the return of a gift) or Antidanion (αντιδάνειo, the return of a loan either linguistic, cultural, or financial). The prefix “anti” reveals a distinct position and consequently a view, not necessarily opposed to, but departing from a different point in order to communicate, to argue, to bridge, to converge, and to accept each other’s’ stances.